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Canneloni

December 7, 2009

The kitchen is the heart of my home, and sometimes it can be hard to leave. With the wonders of wireless technology, we have taken to watching food programmes around the kitchen table. It was a morning off work, and I was taking the opportunity to watch everyone’s favorite chef make canneloni as I ate my muesli. It is so often the case that good ideas spring by accident from two unconnected things appearing in brief juxtaposition to one another. And so it was with the leek, of which I glimpsed a peek over my laptop screen as Jamie piped his canneloni. Wouldn’t it be great, I thought, to do that with a leek?

It set my brain in gear. Cutting the leek into suitable lengths, the middle would be pushed out to leave an allium tube. The middles could be chopped finely and sweated gently, while some bacon is crisped up and finely chopped mushrooms are sauteed in another, hotter pan. Meanwhile, some chestnuts would be on the boil, and these would be crumbled into the mixture to help bind. A little cream and seasoning will complete the paste, which can then be piped into the leeks, before baking gently in a creamy béchamel until the leek is yieldingly tender, and the cheese on top is a bubbling, golden brown crust.

Of course, this could be done with numerous stuffings – the question is, where can I get hold of lots of leeks?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 7, 2009 12:56

    I have done this Sam! It works really well with a slightly more cheesy sauce, using a medium blue cheese in small quantities (think of a broccoli and stilton sort of flavour) and bacon. It’s brilliant as a side dish for a roast dinner too, but obviously depends on how big your leeks are. If you’re going to try it, perhaps mircowave the leeks slightly first – they don’t cook so well baked, and the outer could be crunchy, and taste too strong. The sauce doesn’t seem to do much for softening them up either.

    • December 8, 2009 00:18

      Mum used to do a thing wrapping leeks in ham and baking in bechemel, but I can’t remember whether she pre cooked them. Perhaps a little blanching wold be a good idea. I was thinking of covering them in bechemel, so they wouldn’t dry out. Did you use chestnuts?

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